Distribution and biology
This weaver occurs in forests, especially in wet habitats. It builds a large coarsely woven nest made of grass and creepers with a 15 cm downward facing entrance tunnel hanging from the globular egg chamber. The nest is suspended from a branch in a tree and 2-3 eggs are laid. It nests in pairs but forms small flocks when not breeding.
The Black-necked Weaver is a stocky 16 cm bird with a strong conical bill. The adult male of the northern race has olive upperparts and wings, and yellow underparts and head. It has a black eyemask and bib, and a pale yellow iris. The non-breeding male has a yellow head with an olive crown, grey upperparts and whitish. The wings remain yellow and black.
The adult female also has olive upperparts and wings, and yellow underparts and head. It has a black eyemask but no bib.
The southern race found from Nigeria eastwards has a quite different appearance, with almost black upperparts and tail.
There are four known subspecies:
- Ploceus nigricollis nigricollis
- Ploceus nigricollis brachypterus
- Ploceus nigricollis melanoxanthus
- Ploceus nigricollis po
- Birds of The Gambia by Barlow, Wacher and Disley, ISBN 1-873403-32-1